Okay, I'll admit it. I first read this book because of the hype. Also, because the trailer of the movie looked interesting. Lastly, I've been going thOkay, I'll admit it. I first read this book because of the hype. Also, because the trailer of the movie looked interesting. Lastly, I've been going through Harry Potter withdrawal and I'm trying to find a fantasy series to put all of my pent-up energy in. So, now, what I have to say is this: WHAT THE HELL?!!
This book's premise sounded interesting. Bella moves in with her dad to a remote town in Arizona and falls in love with a vampire. But I foolishly thought that the book had more plot than that. It didn't. No, seriously, where was the plot in this story? Okay, Bella falls in love with a vampire, then what? I don't know. Do you know why? It never got past that. I've read both Twilight and New Moon and all I learned is that Bella is in love with Edward (the vampire). Bella is being mopey, obsessively in love with Edward for the first like 400 pages, the last like 50 or so, Bella is being chased by a vampire. But I am of the firm opinion that the whole being chased by a vampire thing was there just so Meyer could say that she had a plot. But she didn't. Or at least not much.
Now, what was up with the relationship between Edward and Bella? Was it supposed to immensely creepy? Because that's what I got. I'm supposed to believe that people fall that quickly in love within a week, without knowing each other, just because they can't figure each other out? Ooookay. I'm not that thick. And I guess I'm supposed to believe that Bella loves Edward for more reasons than because he's hot? I'm not supposed to believe she's shallow? Oookay. Another thing, does tru wuv actually excuse stalking? Because Bella seemed so ecstatic and flattered that Edward was following her, yet she did not scream "FELONY!" like any other sane person would have done.
If I read a story with a teenage heroine, I want her to be strong, independent, but most importantly, interesting. Bella was none of these things. She was mopey, pathetic, shallow, and selfish. Edward was all of these things, but prettier. Do yourself a favor and skip this book. I'll summarize the story for you:
Girl finds boy. Girl likes boy. Boy ignores Girl. Girl likes Boy even more. Girl and Boy end up going out. Girl loves Boy. Girl loves Boy. Girl loves Boy. Girl loves Boy. Girl loves Boy. Girl loves Boy. Girl gets chased by vampires. Boy saves her. Girl loves Boy. There you go. I just saved you from reading 400+ pages...more
I absolutely love and adore Harry Potter! Sorry. It had to be said. No, but seriously I do. I first bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at myI absolutely love and adore Harry Potter! Sorry. It had to be said. No, but seriously I do. I first bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at my school's Scholastic book fair when I was in 5th grade. I remember that they were having a buy one, get one free sale and I went there with the sole intention of finding another Party of Five book told from Claudia's perspective (I had bought one of those at a previous book fair and loved it. Oddly enough, I had never watched the show at that point, just read a few of the books...) and I thought since it was free, might as well pick up The Sorcerer's Stone. My older sister by a year had been raving about this book because her teacher was reading it to the class and she loved it. So, I picked it up.
I devoured that Party of Five book in a day, loved it, and re-read it again the day after. The day after that, I picked up The Sorcerer's Stone, read one chapter, deemed the book "boring", set it down, and that was that. At least until the movie was released during my freshmen year of high school. I watched the movie in theatres and absolutely loved it. I then picked up my 5th grade copy of The Sorcerer's Stone, dusted it off, read it, and loved it so much more than the movie. That started my anything but brief obsession with everything Harry Potter.
I just fell in love with the whole world that J.K. Rowling created in the books. And I'll admit that even though I was a freshmen in high school when I first read it (all types of grown-up or so I thought), I still dreamed of waking up and finding my own Hogwarts letter delivered to me by owl post. I think that's the magic of the Harry Potter books. The children fall in love with a brand new world that's so different from their own and the adults are taken back to a more innocent time, where you still believe that good always triumphs over evil and when we all still believed in fairy tales.
Since that first initial read, I have re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (and the other novels in the series) more than a dozen times. Every time I re-read it, I get something new out of it. Some subtlety that shows up in the later works that I didn't really grasp until I had read it again. It also never fails to make me feel better if I'm having a crappy day because let's face it. Harry, Hermione, and Ron were going through something so much worse.
I just loved every single one of these characters. Harry was everything a hero should be: brave, loyal, clever, etc. And Hermione and Ron are the types of friends that everyone hopes for. The ones who are with you through thick and thin and don't judge you the whole way through. My favorite characters in this series would have to be Hermione, because I'm just a big a nerd as she is, and Fred and George, because their humor always made the books for me (of course, Luna is also one of my favorite characters, since she doesn't show up until Book 5, she doesn't get more than a brief mention here). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone introduces all of us to an amazing world with tremendous characters (both good and evil and everything in between).
However, as much as I love The Sorcerer's Stone, I do have to say that re-reading it both last year and this year, I'm not surprised that I put it down in the 5th grade. Since it is the first book, we have to wade through the exposition of how Harry gets to go to Hogwarts. The result is that the beginning chapters aren't as exciting as the ones that follow. I do have to say that as much as I love this book because it introduced me to the spectacular world of Hogwarts, it is my least favorite of the seven. It's just that the books get so much better as the series goes on. And now I feel bad for even thinking the words "least favorite"...
Anyway, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone will always hold a place near and dear in my heart because not only is it a fabulous novel, it was the book that got me back into reading. While I read a lot in elementary school, my interest in reading waned during middle school. Since I've read The Sorcerer's Stone, my interest in reading hasn't waned one bit. And I think that's the magic of the whole Harry Potter series, it a lot of people back into reading and it definitely got kids excited about reading again. I think it's influence is something that will still be significant in years to come....more
My finding of The Book Thief was a bit serendipitous. Not my finding as in actually knowing about the book (since this book was highly talked about whMy finding of The Book Thief was a bit serendipitous. Not my finding as in actually knowing about the book (since this book was highly talked about when I first joined Goodreads), but my actual finding of it...in the store. I was just entering the thrift store I frequented at the time (is there a better place but a thrift store to find books? I think not.) and I remember thinking "God! If only I could find The Book Thief in this place instead of having to pay full price for it!" (I was a broke college student then, actually I still am). And lo and behold, there it was! On the second shelf hidden behind yet another copy of a James Patterson novel. Oh, you would not believe how fast I snatched that book up (It was only two dollars, after all, for a hardcover in mint condition)!
This happened about two years ago (or at least a year and a half) and I've only now just read it. Why did I wait so long? Because this was one of those books that was hyped up like you wouldn't believe. So many people were talking about the greatness that was The Book Thief. My expectations, which were already quite high, went through the roof. Of course, then comes the inevitable thought "This will never live up to my expectations" and so it kept falling further and further down the Mt. TBR. Finally, after two previous failed attempts at getting into the story (only made it to page 30 both times), I buckled down and said "I WILL READ THIS". And I did. While it didn't exceed my expectations (or reach them, but again I say "Through the roof!"), I will say that The Book Thief was a really great book.
I loved that this book was narrated by Death (or The Angel of/Grim Reaper, whatever you want to call him or it--whatever!). The author could've taken the easy way out and had Liesel narrate the book. I'm certain that the flow of the events would've been done in a "normal" way had that been the case. What do I mean by normal? Well, a lot of the time, Death tells us the events that are about to come. He just spoils it for you (not really)! He'll just come right out and tell you what's going to happen in the next part because he's just not into building suspense or curiosity. That's kind of what I liked about him. For the most part, he was dispassionate. The events just were what they were. And then something would happen, which would make Death be in awe of humans; whether it be at their extreme capacity for evil or their extreme capacity for goodness.
As a reader, I have much love for the written word (as I'm sure everyone on GoodReads does), so I could understand how Liesel found words to be completely beautiful, yet heartbreaking, especially since that's how I was feeling when The Book Thief ended. I was sobbing my eyes out through the last 150 pages. In fact, those last 150 pages were five-star caliber. It was the rest of the book that ultimately led me to give this four stars instead of the five that most people are giving it. I just kept thinking "Okay, this is pretty damn good, but am I missing something? Why am I not just automatically loving this?" In fact, I spent a majority of the novel in like. Again, it was the last 150 pages that made me fall in love. So, I took the majority of like and the rest of love, put it together and ultimately decided on the four star rating.
So, pretty great novel. I personally think that it was a tad (just a teeny, tiny, tad) overhyped. But if you take out all the hype, you still have a tremendous novel that will touch and simultaneously break your heart. And really as readers what more can we ask for? After all, The Book Thief makes me value the written word that much more....more
I first read The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants four years ago after watching (and loving!) the movie. I've since then have re-read this book (and theI first read The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants four years ago after watching (and loving!) the movie. I've since then have re-read this book (and the subsequent ones) once a year.
The book is about four girls: Carmen, Tibby, Lena, and Bridget and their first summer apart. And they vow to stay together even while apart by sharing these pair of magical jeans. Why are they magical? Because they fit each one of the girls perfectly regardless of the fact that they all have different body shapes. I know it may seem a bit hokey to some people (magical pants? Pssh!), but there really is more to this book than that.
One of the things that I liked most about this book was that it wasn't just about guys, dates, clothes (not counting the magical pants of course), and makeup. There were guys in the story, but it wasn't really the main focus (except for maybe one of the girls). This book is about the girls and their problems. And the problems they have? Very real. You have Carmen who's dealing with her father's new relationship and how she fits into that; Bridget who is intense and has never really dealt with the death of her mother is; Tibby who is dealing with a younger friend with an even bigger problem; and Lena who's falling in love for the first time, but terrified of it.
Another thing that I liked about the story was how true and loyal the girls' friendship really was. In a society where most of the popular teen books are ones where there are back-stabbing best friends, this to me was really refreshing. What was also refreshing was the lack of violence, promiscuous sex, and drug-use in this book. As a lot of popular teen novels (that are series) seem to glorify that. Books like The Gossip Girl series. Don't get me wrong. I read those books and I enjoy them for what they are: trashy, mind-numbing reads. But sometimes, I just need to read a book that doesn't inundate me with these things. That being said, I don't think that The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants should be read by pre-teen girls due to the fact that some of the matters are a bit heavy.
So, if you're in the mood to read a teen book, but don't want a some-what trashy read, pick up The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants. You'll get characters you can relate to no matter your age, fun storylines, and just an all-around awesome novel. ...more
I'm just going to jump in here and say that I have had severe issues with most vampire books I've read (granted I haven't read that many...). I absoluI'm just going to jump in here and say that I have had severe issues with most vampire books I've read (granted I haven't read that many...). I absolutely loathed Twilight (and its craptastic sequel, New Moon. Haven't ventured further than that and don't ever plan to), I hated Companions of the Night, and thought I Am Legend was just "okay". I have read an anthology of classic Victorian vampire short stories and that was pretty good, but overall, my experience has been very "meh"-like. Hence why The Society of S has been falling further and further on Mount TBR. So, I finally said "Screw it!" and decided to read it. And surprisingly enough, I kind of sorta loved it.
This is the first vampire novel that I've read that's actually intelligent. Most of the ones I read are just pure fluff (like the Sookie Stackhouse series which I like a bit, but don't love). Now there's absolutely nothing wrong with fluff (it's good for the soul, after all), but once in a while I like to read a smart book about monsters. I don't really care what kind. The Society of S deals heavily with science (in regards to how vampires are made and how they co-exist with us mere mortals) and also deals with the ethical dilemnas in being an "other". It wasn't all "I'm a vampire, so now what?", which I liked. Plus, the book compares Poe and in one instance Freud to the likes of the modern-day vampire, which was all types of awesome.
The Society of S is narrated by a thirteen year old girl. Most of the time I have an issue with teenagers narrating books about vampires because usually they do it in such an annoying way that I spent the whole novel rolling my eyes at these girls who give teenagers and women in general a bad name. But I actually really liked Ariella. First off, she was smart (seriously, take notes Stephenie Meyer. Not all us women are incredibly shallow, naive, and just so anti-feminist), but most importantly, her emotions seemed so real that I found myself caring about her. I also absolutely loved the parents, especially her father. I'm a complete and total sucker for a man with a dry sense of humor. There's just nothing I can do about (not that I would want to, of course).
The supporting characters were all more than adequate, except I really wanted to know more about the mysterious Root. Maybe in the next book in this series (which I'm so picking up really soon). One thing, though, was that the Big Bad wasn't really all that big. I mean, they were bad, but I didn't get the sense that Ariella was in too much danger at the beginning (or middle). Everything else was interesting enough, but I really missed the viciousness of the vampire a bit. So, I guess I want more Big Bad or a bigger Bad.
So, anyway, I highly recommend The Society of S for those who want a unique twist on vampires, but don't want them to veer so off script that you want to cry because vampires so aren't supposed to sparkle... Also, if you want something deeper than the current batch of vampire novels, then this is definitely the one you need to pick up. My faith in vampires has been restored once more (or at least until I read another crappy one that makes me want to yell and not in the "this is totally creepy and I'm fearing for my life right this minute" kind of way)....more
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those books that almost every single student was assigned to read in high school whether it be a real high school or oTo Kill a Mockingbird is one of those books that almost every single student was assigned to read in high school whether it be a real high school or one of those fictional high schools we all see in movies and television. Woefully, I was not one of those students. And since I was (and still am) a proud nerd and bookworm, I was really looking forward to reading this as soon as I entered high school. I was so disheartened when I wasn't assigned this book or Shakespeare or Catcher in the Rye; you know, all of those books that are supposed to be a staple of your academic high school life. So, I have tried to rectify that and thought To Kill a Mockingbird would be a great way to do so. And I was not disappointed.
I'm also weary of reading classics because I always think that they'll be difficult to read and I won't get through it (like Pride and Prejudice and Rebecca. Seriously, I've tried three times to read these two and can never get past a certain point every time). Or worse I'll get through it and realize that I loathed it. Which would then lead to all of those inevitable looks my fellow readers would give me when I say I HATED To Kill a Mockinbird. It just wouldn't be pretty. So, I put this book off for years. There was no reason for me to worry because To Kill a Mockinbird was surprisingly readable. I thought that it would take me like fifty pages to get into it, but from the first page, I was already entranced in Scout's world like it was my own. Getting into a book so deeply is what I love most about the magic of reading and that was really emphasized in this book.
The characters were all extremely real and I loved Scout, Jem, Dill, Atticus, Calpurnia, etc. Even the Ewells, who you aren't really supposed to like, were all layered and just leapt off the page. The whole situation: the race tensions, Tom Robinson's trial, Atticus' struggle to remain noble, were all the things that contributed to make this book not only amazing, but page-turning. So much that I literally had to force myself to stop a couple of times and savor the beautiful writing.
While many say it's a shame that Harper Lee never published anything again, I personally think that there was no way she would've ever topped the success that To Kill a Mockingbird garnered. Maybe to Lee, it seemed like this was the only story she needed to tell and she told it beautifully. To Kill a Mockingbird has become my favorite read of the year so far (tied with I Capture the Castle) and I know that this is a story that I'm going to re-read over and over again and pick up something new every time. This was definitely an amazing and enchanting novel....more
I bought 3 Willows a year and some months ago when it was first released. I am a huge fan of the Sisterhood of Traveling Pants novels (the series is oI bought 3 Willows a year and some months ago when it was first released. I am a huge fan of the Sisterhood of Traveling Pants novels (the series is one of my favorites) and was excited when I picked it up. Yet, I've been putting off reading it because since it was dealing with girls younger than the main characters of the Sisterhood series, I thought that it'd be a bit too juvenile for me. Well, I was completely wrong and am a little bit ashamed of thinking that way (considering I'm a huge YA fan and know that a lot of people look their noses down at it and don't consider it "real" literature) because I found it extremely good.
What I loved about the novel was that it was slightly more "real" than the Sisterhood of Traveling Pants series (and before people get annoyed at me for bringing up Brashares previous series, let me just write that it's absolutely impossible to write about 3 Willows and not mention the Sisterhood series as they are sort of in conjuction with each other). In 3 Willows, the girls are trying to find a way to remain friends even though they are all headed in different directions. They actually have to work a bit more harder at this since they don't have the advantage of having magical pants at their disposal. This makes it much more relateable as I don't think any group of friends has a pair of magical jeans to help them remain true to each other (although then again, who knows?).
I especially loved the characters. This was something that I was worried about before, not connecting much with the characters because it's been a while since I was a middle school graduate. But I found that gradually I got invested in the characters. While I didn't love them as much as I did Tibby, Lena, Bridget, and Carmen, I still felt for the problems that they had to endure and cheered when they ended up victorious (or at least somewhat victorious).
There were a couple of things that nagged me about 3 Willows, though. While I loved the characters as individuals, I found that it was hard for me to completely buy their friendship at first. I could see how they would become friends, but I could also see how easy it was for them to drift apart because they didn't seem like the "bestest" friends to begin with. They seemed like friends, but they didn't seem to have that connection with each other they way the Sisterhood did. Because of that I found that I wasn't really connected to the friendship aspect of the novel until the end.
Another thing that bothered me was that the Sisterhood (the original ones) were well-known in the novel and were regarded as a mystical group. Everyone looked at them as though they were untouchable and everyone knew about the magical pants. For some reason, I always thought that the Sisterhood would keep the power of the pants a secret. If not from their family, then at least from outsiders. Anyway, the constant mentioning of them kept taking me out of the story of Ama, Jo, and Polly and more into the world of Tibby, Lena, Bridget, and Carmen. It would've been fine if they were just mentioned once or twice, but not as much as they were. Also, Effie (Lena's sister) was in this novel and she was a complete and total bitch. I was one of those people who was endeared by Effie in the Sisterhood novels and liked her brief parts in the books. So having her come back, as the Devil Incarnate severely pissed me off. It would have been better if a random unknown character took her part in the book.
Anyway, despite my small problems with 3 Willows, I loved it. I thought it was a sweet, cute, story. It wasn't as enchanting as The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants series, but that can be because I got to know the original Sisterhood throughout four amazing novels and have only known Sisterhood 2.0 for one novel. Still, while I liked the original Sisterhood better, 3 Willows was still good in it's own right. I, for one, am hoping that there is a sequel in the works (but I haven't heard anything about this so maybe there won't be) so that I can revisit with Ama, Jo, and Polly and see what's going on with their lives in the summer after their first year of high school. 3 Willows is a novel that I recommend to any YA lover and I don't regret reading it, just regret putting it off for as long as I have....more